Black and White: World Qualifying Points

Joe Frankino

3/2/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

A few weeks ago, Konami released some big news regarding the 2017 TCG World Championship. While we don't know the date or location just yet, we did learn that this year would be the first where players can enter the World Championship without having to top their World Championship Qualifier.

This week on Black and White, we explain World Qualifying Points: what they mean for Organized Play and getting to the World Championship!

World Qualifier Points (n. pl.)
In previous years, players earned their spot in the World Championship via the WCQ's or by being the previous year's World Champion. This time there's another way to enter the World Championship, and that's by earning World Qualifying Points.

Players earn World Qualifying Points by competing in an event that gives out WCQ invites like Regional Qualifiers, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series events, Official Tournament Store Championships and such. The number of points given out is determined by how many invites each event awards.

For example, a Regional Qualifier that awards 64 invites will have the 1st Place duelist earn 64 points. 2nd Place earns 63 points and so on, with 64th place duelist earning just 1 point. These points are added up for the entire dueling year, and after the WCQ, a number of players at the top of the points list that didn't win a Worlds invite via other means – like topping the WCQ itself – will also punch their ticket to the World Championship!

The number of spots that the World Qualifying Points list sends to Worlds depends on your region. As an example, the United States will send two players, Canada sends one, and so on. Check your local page on http://www.yugioh-card.com for exact info on how many players in your region will qualify for Worlds on points.

World Qualifying Points are different from any of the other points earned from other Organized Play programs like the Ultimate Duelist Series. You'll still need to grind at UDS Qualifiers and other events if you want a shot at the UDS Championship belt.

How Does This Change Events?
As you can imagine, this changes how you may approach Regional Qualifiers from a tactical standpoint.

Previously, most players would earn their WCQ invite and not have any regard for how close to 1st place they came as long as they got it. Afterwards, every Regional between then and the WCQ was simply to hone their skills and have a chance at a Top 8 Game Mat and Top 4 Deck box. That basically meant two losses would eliminate a player from any chance at the additional prizes they were seeking and they would drop since there was nothing to be gained from staying in and earning an invite they already had.

Well, now there's a reason to stay in the tournament. By earning their invite a second time, competitors will also earn more World Qualifying Points which will move them up the list and get them closer to the World Championship.

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Set Starter Deck: Saber Force
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What that means for events: if you've been judging or organizing big tournaments, you notice trends in how the tournament progresses. Specifically, you can guess at what percentage of players will stay in your tournament towards the later rounds.

Now that there's an incentive to stay in, the percentage will be bigger than it once was. Players will drop from the tournament at a lower rate since there's now a reason to stay in. TO's may need to adjust staffing numbers, and the Head Judge will need to keep in mind that judges will need to stay on the Main Events longer than they previously did since the tournament won't Shrink as quickly.

Is This Good For Organized Play?
Heck yeah it is!

Giving more players the opportunity to play at Worlds is a good thing. Giving different regions a guaranteed spot at Worlds is also a big plus. Before 2011, Canada had its own National Championship that sent only one player. When their National Championship combined with the US's, the total invites went up from a combined five (four from the US, one from Canada) to six. But as we've seen from previous years, the split was almost always in favor of the United States. Now Canada can still win more spots from the US but they'll also have one guaranteed seat at Worlds thanks to the World Qualifying Points list.

Getting more players to compete in Regional Qualifiers is good for the individual Tournament Organizers that run these events since bigger turnouts mean more chances at more Regionals down the road and more importantly, an improved bottom line.

But Joe! Doesn't this favor players that have the means to attend more Regional Qualifiers? That doesn't seem fair, does it?

Well, that's just natural isn't it? I mean, players that could attend more Regionals had an advantage anyway since they had more chances to earn their WCQ invite by playing in more tournaments. The World Qualifying Points don't change how many Regionals are available to a player, it only incentivizes players to attend as many as they're able to. The only “negative” change is that at the North American WCQ, only the Top 4 will get to Worlds instead of the Top 6.

But, as someone that's been involved in a NAWCQ top cut for multiple years from the judging side of things, the NAWCQ top cut procedure was a quagmire once you got to Top 8.

In the old system:

- Players who won their top 8 match were guaranteed to be in the top 4 and therefore qualified for the World Championship.

- The other players then had to playoff in a custom bracket to determine 5th/6th and 7th/8th.

- THEN the players in 7th/8th had to play off to determine who was 7th and who was 8th for the purposes of alternates in case any of the Top 6 couldn't attend the World Championship tournament for whatever reason. (Jason's Note: And those subs were needed with surprising frequency. A LOT of people couldn't make it to Worlds over the years.)

In total, if you made it into the Top 8 of the NAWCQ, you had to play the next three rounds even if you lose. The process never seemed to be completely understood by the players who participated, and all in all, it was just a messy way to contrive six Worlds invites from a Top 8 playoff.

The system now (as I expect it to be):

- The winners at the end of the Top 8 playoff round earn their Worlds invite. The other four players will contend for alternate spots in some way that Konami will determine.

That seems a lot cleaner, doesn't it? That's because it is. And it's easier to explain to players all around the country, too. “Play in the WCQ and get to Top 4 to get to Worlds.” And then you can go back to walking the floor answering questions about X-Saber Airbellum.

Oh wait, that was me from seven years ago, sorry.

Does This Mean Anything Else For Other Tournaments?
Kinda. As mentioned before, these points only apply for tournaments that give out WCQ invites, and there aren't too many of them. Regionals and YCS's are the big ones, although Regional Qualifiers at YCS's – in the form of 16-person single elimination Public Events – would probably give the winner 1 point, and OTS Championships would give out a small number of points: 4 for the winner, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 for fourth.

I don't know if that amount of points will make a huge difference in who goes to Worlds from the points list, but I guess every little bit counts.

How Many Points Do I Have? Can I Check The List?
They don't have the list up yet, we only have a press release saying that this points list exists and this will be how Worlds invites will be determined. I assume we'll get the World Qualifying Points list around the same time we get a WCQ invite list update.

For those wondering: processing a Regional Qualifier takes a bit of time, which is why we typically don't see updates too often up until just before WCQ season starts up. This will be in a couple of months so I assume we'll get a World Qualifying Points list in the near future.

If you have any questions about Organized Play things, card interactions, tournament policy of game mechanics, send me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to askjudgejoe@gmail.com and your question could be answered in a future edition of Court of Appeals!

-Joe Frankino


Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. You can read his non-TCG writings over at http://crazdgamer.com and view his video-game related streams at http://twitch.tv/crazdgamer. He plays Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist using only story decks because attacking into Mirror Force is apparently entertaining for viewers.


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